There is no getting away from Over 50s Life Insurance these days as it really is everywhere. Adverts on TV, in the paper, leaflets in magazines or posted through your letter box; Over 50s life insurance is big business.
But the question I can’t help asking myself is whether Over 50s Life insurance really is for the Over 50s or in an age where we are feeling younger (well most days) and living longer; should it now be transformed to Over 60s Life Insurance or even life insurance for the Over 70s?
Over 60s is the new Over 50s
The highest percentage of people that buy Over 50s Life Insurance are actually in their late 60s or older, so is this type of whole of life insurance plan catering for a market it just doesn’t attract?
One of the draws of an Over 50s plan is that it offers an extremely simple application process with guaranteed acceptance regardless of health, so it doesn’t discriminate and is available to anyone between the ages of 50 to 80 living in the UK.
This is a double edged sword though; yes you are guaranteed to be accepted but if you are in good health, you may get a larger cash payout by applying for a regular whole of life insurance plan as opposed to an Over 50s life insurance policy.
So unless you have concerns over your health, why should a 50 year old look at over 50s life cover?
The ever changing needs of the Over 50s
Of course the other thing to consider is why 50 plus people buy life insurance, the answer to which depends on age.
Even though they are labelled Over 50s, you can’t assume everyone who comes under this banner has the same requirements. As recent research*into the UK over 50s life insurance market suggests, the needs of the ‘Over 50s’ really depends on our stage of life.
For example many 50 year olds have dependents still living at home, so their insurance needs could lean more towards a term life insurance product which covers a specific time frame.
People about to retire and early retirees are more interested in inheritance and retirement planning. Whereas it’s the older retirees who really associate themselves with the Over 50’s or silver surfer label; and the reason they tend to buy over 50s life cover speaks volumes.
The demand for the Over 50 Plan
When you buy an Over 50 life insurance plan a cash sum is paid to the family that can be used in any way they wish. Advertisements do talk of leaving a financial gift for friends and family or helping to pay of outstanding commitments but the main reason people buy 50 plus insurance is to help with funeral costs.
So these older retirees who more closely associate themselves with the ‘Over 50s’ club have moved on from retirement and started thinking about their funeral planning needs – a very different thought process to those people who are genuinely in their 50s, therefore adding to support to the notion that it’s time for the over 50s life insurance plan to have a face lift.
Is 60 or 70 the new 50?
Although being 50 is still classed as a ‘biggie’ in the birthday stakes, it by no means has the same connotations that it used to. Life used to begin at 40; but 40 now seems so young (or is that just because I’ve joined the Over 50 club).
In addition to physically living to an older age, research by leading insurance provider SunLife shows that people aged 50 and over also feel 10 years younger, which could explain why a huge percentage of those people surveyed felt they gave up work too early. In fact the study found that 85% of retired over 50s felt they retired too early which increased to 88% for those aged 70 plus.
So as our lifestyles and outlooks have changed, is it time to change the ‘Over 50’ label; is there a whole new club we should be looking to join like the midlifers club? But then you have to ask yourself what exactly is midlife and the questions start again!